The Cleveland Cavaliers can't say the referees never tried to help them out on Thursday night during Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Though the Cavs ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors 113-91 in Oakland, they shot 25 free throws to the Warriors' 16, making 20 (Golden State made 11).
However, free-throw disparity wasn't the only way the refs tried to help LeBron James and company on Thursday night.
As you can see in the video below, during one break in the action, a referee tosses the ball toward another official, inadvertently hitting Golden State star Steph Curry in the face in the process, prompting a hilarious reaction from Curry:
After getting hit, Curry drops to his knees and tilts his head back, pretending to be stunned by the blow. Though it certainly isn't pleasant to get hit in the face by a ball, at least Curry was a good sport about it.
Getting hit in the face was about the only thing that went wrong for the Warriors on Thursday night, as Curry scored 28 points and knocked down six of his 11 three-point attempts in the 22-point victory. He also chipped in with 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals.
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 38 points and also added eight boards and eight dimes to lead Golden State. After the game, he told reporters that he and his teammates are living the dream right now (via NBA.com):
“This is where every player wants to be, the highest level of basketball,” he said. “This is what you dreamed about as a kid, so I’m just trying to be there for my teammates and play up to my standards as an individual.”
Durant and Curry formed a duo that was too much for even LeBron and Kyrie Irving to handle - at least for Game 1, so Durant's title chase is off to a good start.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was impressed by what he saw from the Warriors in Game 1, telling ESPN.com that his squad has its work cut out for it moving forward:
"They're the best I ever seen," Lue said. "I mean, no other team has done this, right? So 13-0, and they constantly break records every year, last year being 73-9, this year starting the playoffs 13-0. So, they're playing good basketball. But we can play better."
Stopping Curry and Durant will be high on Cleveland's to-do list ahead of Sunday's Game 2. If the Cavs fall behind 2-0 in this year's series, they may not have enough firepower to repeat last year's miracle comeback from a 3-1 deficit.